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On Your Side: What to do if power lines land on your car

Experts say you should stay in your car if imminent danger isn't present when power lines fall on your car. (WSYX/WTTE)

Experts from AEP Ohio shared what you should do if power lines land on your car Thursday.

The demonstration came after seven people were trapped in their cars during Tuesday's storms in Grove City.

AEP said they all did the number one right thing, "stay in your car." Experts said while staying in your car, you should roll your windows down to alert others that wires are down and they should stay away. The experts said unless you're seriously hurt or there's another life-threatening emergency such as a car fire, staying inside your car is the best option.

If you absolutely must get out of the car, AEP says to take off any jewelry and secure all loose clothing. They said you should next cross your arms and move to the edge of the door.

The next part is crucial, you want to jump from the car and land with your feet together and then shuffle your feet. They said do not pick up your feet until your are at least 35 feet away. The further away the better.

Line Crew supervisor Craig Williams explained why that foot movement is so important.

"It’s just like a bird on a wire. He’s part of that circuit. If your feet aren’t together, you become what we caught two different potentials," he said.

The bottom line is that the shuffling reduces your risk of electrocution.

AEP also said to look at your surroundings. If you can back the car away from the lines, that’s a good idea.

They said it's important make sure you’re not going to snag the line and potentially pull a pole onto your car.

Here are the step by step directions to take:

  1. Roll down a window and alert anyone nearby about what has happened, telling them to stay away.
  2. Call 911.
  3. Stay in the vehicle. It’s the safest location, unless there’s a life-threatening emergency, such as a fire.
  4. If you feel you have to leave the vehicle, then take off any jewelry and secure loose clothing.
  5. Open the door. Move to the edge of the door frame and cross your arms across your chest.
  6. Jump from the car, landing with your feet side-by-side. Do not walk. Shuffle your feet until you are at least 35 feet away.
  7. If you have a child in the car and there’s a life threatening emergency, then have the child cross his or her arms as well, hold the child against your chest and exit the vehicle as described above.
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